- Friends & Family
I have been on my recovery journey for almost 22 years. When I first got sober, I didn’t think I could relate to anyone with that much sobriety. It seems that, among young people, the idea of never drinking or doing drugs for the rest of their lives seems daunting and overwhelming. I like to urge people to not think about that– just think about today!
The clichés you hear in recovery are very profound. At the same time, they are clichés, so it’s easy to brush them off and dismiss them—but, remember, they are core principles. Taking “one day at a time” can give you the opportunity to have 22 years of recovery. If you can’t get through today, you can’t get through a week. Don’t think about the stuff that has happened; it is already done.
I focus on today, for myself. It makes so much more sense to me to consider that time doesn’t really mean anything. Twenty-two years of sobriety doesn’t mean anything– I have to live TODAY.
The biggest positive change in my life has been the change in my attitude: my attitude about life and how I react to things. I used to be very pessimistic and negative about things. I was the “glass half empty”, but its really shifted over the last five years and I’ve been more positive. I think that’s because of my willingness to continue my journey.
The more that I was willing to look inside and be accountable and look at my actions and my attitude and my response to the world, the more I have become willing to change that. My willingness to change has been consistent over the last five years. I really wanted to change. I wanted to stop living the way I was living, even in my recovery. I took away the booze and the drugs but I still needed to work on me.
I never knew what was going to happen when I drank. I would end up doing drugs that I never wanted to do, I ended up in places I didn’t think I would end up. I got tired of that happening. Multiple warrants, spending time in jail; I just got tired of it. Finally, what led me to change was a nearly fatal overdose. After that, I decided it was enough.
Recovery is an ongoing journey for me. There are always struggles, but for me it has all been about finding my purpose in life. I have had more jobs than most people; I have jumped careers. I have done multiple things. The underlying theme has always been service—now that I work in addiction treatment, I feel that I have found my purpose.
Even when you think it can’t get better, there’s always a chance that it will. The more that you can try to be open to possibilities, the more chance there is that it will get better.